Internet and Cyberspace Law
The Internet brought with it news ways of conducting business, but also presented a number of new situations which the existing legal structure was ill equipped to handle.
Foremost among these new challenges is the digital age's unprecedented ability to gather and maintain large amounts of data. In the past, these mundane pieces of information -- addresses, birthdays, photos, shopping habits -- were not necessarily private but were very difficult for one person to find. However, computers can store incredible amounts of information, and data mining algorithms can use this information to create complete individual portraits. Many lawmakers are currently evaluating policies that seek to maintain privacy while still allowing some people to extract useful information from the data.
Computers and the Internet affect many other areas of law. The ability to quickly, cheaply, and accurately copy and disseminate copyrighted works presents new challenges for intellectual property lawyers. Consumers habitually agree to arcane End User Licensing Agreements without truly understanding them in order to use important websites and online services. Finally, the Internet allows people from different states and nations to conduct business and communicate with ease, which brings transactions that were typically the domain of one government into the domain of several different governments.
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